PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A man who allegedly robbed a convenience store in Portsmouth last year, then mugged a woman on the street two days later, striking her in the head with a BB gun until it broke apart, has been indicted on criminal charges.
Police say 28-year-old David Wilson was wearing a bandanna, a hooded sweatshirt and black makeup around his eyes when he allegedly stole the woman’s purse in February.
The incident took place in the early evening, near the rear entrance of Cafe Mediteranneo in Portsmouth
Wilson is currently incarcerated at the Rockingham County House of Corrections. He was indicted earlier this month on two class A felony counts in connection with the Portsmouth robberies.
He is also facing a third felony charge alleging he was in possession of a stolen chainsaw when he was taken into custody last year.
The convenience store hold-up took place on Jan. 29 at the Tedeschi’s Food Mart located at 642 Islington St. in Portsmouth. A cashier called 911 at approximately 5:15 p.m. that day to report the store had just been robbed at gunpoint.
The woman described the suspect as a white man wearing a black hat and a red bandanna across his face. He was said to be about 6 feet tall, with an athletic build.
The cashier handed him about $50 in cash from the register, and the man fled on foot, heading toward Malt House Exchange.
Surveillance camera footage showed the man brandishing a weapon, which the cashier described as a “glock-style” handgun. Investigators now believe the device was a black BB gun.
Police located a black cap and bandanna about 200 yards away from the store, outside the Sullivan Tire on Albany Street, according to an affidavit provided by Portsmouth Police Officer Rebecca Hester. The hat bore the words “Tap Out,” written in white lettering, and the bandanna had the letters “AMB” in black and white, with a “crossed hatchet design,” according to the affidavit.
Police say the symbol appears to be connected with the Axe Murder Boyz, a Colorado music group similar to the rap-metal duo Insane Clown Posse.
“I am aware that followers of this style of music … refer to themselves as ‘Juggalos’ and that the hatchet is a common logo,” Hester wrote in the affidavit.
Wilson also has a “Hatchet-Man” tattoo on his chest, according to Hester’s affidavit, which states the symbol is indicative of an affiliation with so-called “Juggalos.”
On Feb. 1, at about 8:20 p.m., police were contacted by a woman who said she was grabbed as she approached the rear door of Cafe Mediteranneo in the Worth Parking Lot in Portsmouth.
The woman reported the perpetrator was a white man who was brandishing a black handgun.
The man demanded her money, then grabbed her purse. Police say a struggle ensued, and the woman released her bag after she was hit in the head multiple times with the gun.
The victim described the perpetrator as a white man who was about 6 feet tall. She told police he was wearing black makeup “all around his eyes,” according to Hester’s affidavit.
“I am aware that it is common practice for Juggalo’s [sic] to paint their faces to resemble evil clowns,” it reads. “Based on the proximity of the crimes, in both time and location, and the similarities in the suspect description, it seemed probable that the same person was responsible.”
So-called “Juggalos” are traditionally fans of Insane Clown Posse, according to the FBI’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment. The report classifies Juggalos as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang,” which is active in four states: Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
Police have also identified “criminal Juggalo subsets” in at least 21 other states, including New Hampshire and Massachusetts, according to the report. Some of those groups are comprised of transient or homeless people, the report states.
“Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism,” the report states. “However, open source reporting suggests that a small number of Juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more ganglike criminal activity, such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales.”
Lawyers for Insane Clown Posse have disputed the claim that fans engage in criminal behavior. The band filed a lawsuit in Michigan last year seeking documents that would explain the FBI’s rationale for including Juggalos in the gang report.
The band and its record label also launched a website, juggalosfightback.com, to combat the notion that Juggalos are a criminal organization.
Wilson was apprehended in March by Portsmouth Police Officer Garrett Drew, who was acting on a request from police in Eliot, Maine. Wilson was being sought in connection with recent thefts in the area, along with Christy Wanager, a woman identified in police affidavits as Wilson’s wife.
Drew arrested Wilson and Wanager near Market Square, and their Pontiac Sunfire was seized. Wanager told Drew she and Wilson had been living out of the car, which was packed with clothing.
In the trunk, Drew allegedly discovered a Husqvarna chain saw and assorted tools, which appeared to match the description of items recently reported as stolen from a vehicle parked at the C&J Trailways terminal in Portsmouth.
Both Wilson and Wanager have previously served time in state prison after being convicted of breaking into cars and stealing items at the same location, according to Drew’s affidavit.
Inside the car, police also allegedly recovered jeans and boots similar to those worn by the robber who held up the convenience store, according to the affidavit. Wilson’s DNA has also been discovered on the bandanna found at the scene, police say.
A BB gun found in Wilson’s possession is also of the same make and model as the one that broke apart during the parking lot robbery, police say.
Wilson is scheduled to be arraigned in Rockingham Superior Court on Thursday at 1 p.m.
Distributed by MCT Information Services